Swiss Re Insurance-Linked Fund Management

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Economic losses from hurricane Sandy heading northwards to $70 billion


The estimates of economic losses from hurricane and super-storm Sandy keep rising northwards and are now fast approaching the $70 billion mark. The estimates given for New York and New Jersey states alone are almost there, with the estimate for New York still at $33 billion of economic losses and the estimate for New Jersey having risen again to now sit at $36.8 billion.

So far the upper estimates for both insured and economic losses have jumped significantly from the earliest loss estimates of $10 billion insured and $20 billion economic, up to $25 billion insured and now $70 billion economic.

Other recent news on loss estimates includes the estimate from Allstate which was released today and points towards an insurance industry loss of just below $20 billion. Credit Suisse are in agreement on an industry loss of just under $20 billion as well. Meanwhile a JP Morgan analyst said they expect an industry loss of up to $25 billion but added that they expect the loss to be split 50-50 between insurers and reinsurers.

We suspect that the economic loss estimate will continue to rise further, particularly once all the infrastructure costs are factored in many of which are not insured in the private re/insurance market. How much higher is anyone’s guess. So far insured loss estimates have risen by 150% since Sandy struck and economic loss estimates have now risen by 250%. It’s clear that economic losses including flood and infrastructure are going to rise by a much greater percentage than insured losses.

New York are also looking for another $9 billion to help them mitigate against future severe weather catastrophe events.

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